Monday, 20 January 2014

Medallion final border and Ann Randoll workshop

My medallion quilt top is finished - at a bit over 2 metres square (80inches) it is big enough, so time to stop adding borders!

Just to give you an idea of the sources of inspiration for the borders - I have loads of quilt history books and here are three favourite quilts from them that inspired the design, colours and borders. 

Here are the books in which I found the pictures :

So this is how far I got with my quilt design/ construction last time ... ready for another border.

I wanted to get a  zig zag border in there,  and I also especially wanted to use a large floral fabric - so decided to combine the two. Here are some sketches mulling over the dimensions...

Drawing up a paper pattern

Fitting the pattern to the quilt top

The triangles (background) was to be my floral and the zig zag strip was to be the cream fabric I had used for the applique border. To construct the zig zag there are various possible techniques such as making a bias strip to applique, or piecing it in blocks, and no doubt a lot more options too! I decided the best method for me was back-basted needleturn applique. So here goes... tracing the design on to the back of my floral (using light pad)

I then basted the cream fabric along those lines on the back, trimmed it back and needle turned the edges on the top. I found it an easy and accurate method - and really enjoyed the applique.
Basting is gradually removed ahead of the needleturn

Well - that stretched me a bit but I'm very happy with it. It is now on the quilting queue..
First I have to quilt  'Simon'  - which is on the floor getting pinned bit by bit. 

Meanwhile I spent a lovely weekend at Summer School in the Blue Mountains (organised by Karen Cunningham), in Rhonda Pearce's workshop - the Ann Randoll quilt. Here is Rhonda in front of her reproduction quilt, and students madly hand sewing... 

There are more borders to go but just look at this so far - wow! 
Rhonda' s Ann Randoll reproduction
Just a reminder - here is a picture of the original quilt 
photo from Sue Prichard's book Quilts 1700-2010

It was such a privilege and inspiration to attend this class - Rhonda is a needlewoman extraordinaire - I was in awe - the tiniest, neatest hand stitches ever. I shall be striving and striving but sadly will not be reaching that standard! However I am really excited to be tackling this one - such a variety of fun techniques. The next borders have more applique and tiny hexagons as well - great. 

We covered a few of the techniques involved - and made a start of bits and pieces (applique, bias strips, hand piecing curves) so we know what we're doing (that's the theory anyway!). Here's my weekend's work on the middle of the quilt - may not look a lot but it was challenging handwork !  I've placed the pieces together so you can see how it will evolve ...

And here is a photo (from the book again) of the middle of the original antique quilt - now you might see where I am going with this...

Great company, great venue, beautiful mountain location, yummy food and great teachers - looking forward to next year!

Hope all Aussies are enjoying the relief of cooler weather now - is wonderfully cool and drizzling here now. Am off to do some garden work. 


  1. Wow! Your medallion quilt is gorgeous, it leaves me utterly short of adjectives! It's hard to know where to look first, so much detail. I love your summer school project too, how big will it be finished?. Rhonda is indeed an amazing needle woman, I have been to her store a couple of times and always come away freshly inspired.

  2. Really great how you explained your border implementation. So very interesting. LOVE your fabulous quilt. I am, as always, very inspired by your quilt making! Such lovely work. Your summer project looks very intricate, but fascinating! If anyone is up for it, you certainly are!

  3. Amazing work! So beautiful and inspiring. And thank you for all those pictures, so much to learn from you.

  4. Wow, I am in awe! I love how you finished your medallion quilt, it is just the perfect border and so unusual. Thanks once again for all the inspiration!

  5. Wow! Great stuff! I am going to use back basting for my swags on my Baltimore Garden, someday. Slow going I still have 12 more blocks to applique this summer, first. The author of the book suggested machine back basting, so I am going to give it a go. I love all the medallion quilts. I am doing a medallion that is starting with hexies, not sure where I am going, but hope to have fun along the way. Your blog is so inspirational !

  6. wow - I love that antique quilt you show with all the clamshells! I think I have seen photos of that one before. I like how you have done your zigzags on the quilt you are doing. Such a good accurate way to do that. So love looking at the historic quilts you Australians work on :) makes me wish I could go sit and sew with y'all.

  7. Beautiful work. The zig zag border is a perfect touch, and looks amazing. I admire your work and patience.

  8. OK, I am still trying to pick my jaw up off the floor. Your work is very inspiring and It is so interesting to see how you design. How fortunate to be able to attend a class from Rhonda Pearce. It will be fun to watch your progress with this one, Looks like you will be making more little clam shells.

  9. What a gorgeous floral zigzag border! I wouldn't have thought of backbasting to do that but it looks great and you have a lot less seams now! The top looks amazing! I like your other start as well - I should have come with you because I'd love to learn how to hand piece curved seams too :0) There are some very pretty fabrics in it - it will be fun to follow your progress.

  10. I always love seeing what you've been up to, you're work is just so beautiful. The zig zag border frames your medallion perfectly!! I'm impressed that you appliqued the zig zag rather than piecing it. Your class sounds wonderful!! You're off to great start with your center piecing.

  11. Okay, overload! Overload! What beauty!!
    First off I was laughing cause I cannot imagine "Madly handsewing!" LOL
    I think your zig zag is wonderful and I love seeing your thought process on it. You are so talented! I am always excited to see a post on your blog.

  12. Your new border looks amazing - great technique! Summer School looks like fun - fabulous work there.

  13. I was in blackheath on sat too. If I'd realised you were in the hall I would have called in to say hi!
    I bet it was a warm weekend but it looks like you had a lot of fun. Beautiful work as always.

  14. Hilda, your work is absolutely beautiful, and so inspiring. What a wonderful time you had at Summer School, I am feeling very jealous. I look forward to watching the progress on your quilt.

  15. So lovely! :)
    Greetings from Finland!
    Hugs, Ulla

  16. Oh my goodness! Everything is so beautiful! And you don't think you're a master?!
    What a great class and such wonderful inspiration.

  17. Good heavens! You're really going to stitch that whole thing by hand? Wow!

  18. Hello Hilda
    I love the zig zag border on that quilt, so lovely.
    Can you email me privately? I have a question for you on the Mary Leggett star quilt. I am making a version of it also and I have a construction question of how you put it together. I'm pretty sure my email address shows on your side when I post this comment on your blog.

  19. Stunningly beautiful! You are amazing! Do you ever sleep???

  20. I would echo that, do you ever sleep? I am overwhelmed at your creativity. So beautiful, and even more so in person I bet.

  21. I was awed by the clam shell border and again now by the zig zag one. What a fantastic quilt! Simon's no slouch either! Amazing quilts.

  22. What shows you beautiful quilts on your blog!
    Quite my taste, with beautiful fabrics.

  23. Truly beautiful quilt, l loved looking at the way you put this piece together, with your excellent photo's and written so well too! Thank you for sharing... Bye J x